Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Full Day's HansardDownload Full Day's Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Thursday, 28 May 1942

Mr ROSEVEAR (DALLEY, NEW SOUTH WALES) - No doubt the much-eulogized Fadden plan was an afterthought of a scheme similar lo this, which the States rejected. If this scheme be illegal in any respect, then so also was the Fadden plan.

There is one other matter which has not been touched upon in the course of this debate, and that is tho question of post-war reconstruction, which, in its way, is-as important aa our war activities. Much has been said about winning this war, and winning tho peace afterwards, r.nd it is important that there should be some adjustment of the finances of the States and of the Commonwealth in order to make provision for the post-war period. If there be any inequalities or injustices in that period, it is certain that they will operate against the interests of the States. The uniform income tax scheme will he abandoned one year after the conclusion of the war, and the States will he left to their own resources, but we must bear in mind the possibility that, before one year after the war there will be thrown upon the States the job of extracting themselves from, or avoiding, an economic depression. It is obvious that when the war finishes the services of more than 500,000 munitions workers will become redundant. In addition to that, probably 350,000 men of our fighting forces will be discharged and will be locking for work. At present, in the course of our industrial re-organization for war production, day after day we are closing down industries which are classed as non-essential, but whether they are considered essential or not, at least they provide avenues of employment, and a pool of wealth into which all governments have dipped in order to raise revenue. If these industries were kept in existence, they would expand during the war, and at the conclusion of hostilities they would provide even wider avenues of employment than theyhave in the past. When one appreciates the fact that, by smashing private industries and converting them to war purposes, we are reducing or eliminating the wealth produced by those industries, one can visualize what the post-war situation will be, when huge numbers of soldiers and munitions workers arc thrown on to the labour market. Will the Commonwealth assume the responsibility of caring for those people until they are re-absorbed in industry? I was in this Parliament during the last depression find I know the paltry assistance that was granted for the relief of unemployment by this Parliament at a time when 200,000 men and women throughout the length and breadth of the Commonwealth were dependent upon relief work and the dole for their very existence. The most that the Commonwealth could offer them was £250,000, by way of a Christmas grant. That was the Commonwealth's contribution to the alleviation of distress during the last depression. Have we any reason to believe that it will be any more generous in the future? I am not a fool enough to think that it will.

Suggest corrections